Thursday, March 24, 2016

Only 2 Religions: One of Self, One of God

Oh good, I don't have to write my book on Eastern religion/Western Gnosticism/New Age . . . contrasting it all with the truth of the Bible and the way of Christ.  I was once very deep into all that stuff, was myself  a "renunciate/sannyasin" . . . before getting saved by the one, true and living God.  I stumbled across a book that pretty much describes the issue involved quite in depth, which I have always found lacking in any of the Christian p.o.v. books that I'd read before on the subject.  Most Christian authors, apologists, I have found only have a very superficial and cartoonish understanding of the lure and doctrines of Eastern mysticism. They tend to just call it "pagan" or a "cult" and that's it.  They miss, and do not respect whatsoever the deep thought and analysis and practices, sincerity and dedication that many seekers have who do get caught up in ie., Yoga, Buddhism, or Hindu Vedanta.  And by so doing, they miss how it is that so much of Eastern mysticism has itself invaded the Church--the Body of Christ.

Why I think it is such an important area of thought and belief to treat seriously . . . is that I find many of the same concepts bound up in a lot modern Christianity--especially the emphasis on SELF and SELF WILL and denial of God's absolute Sovereignty. . . .

Also ideas like "law of attraction" . . . "karma" . . . "renunciation of body" . . . hatred of the physical . . . "sincerity saves" . . . "everyone has their own truth" etc., permeate post-modern Christian thought.

Here is an excerpt from the book, regarding the idea of man's "free will" (sovereignty) vs. God's sovereignty . . . and why you can't have both.  It's either one or the other. . . .

"A God who is merely a substance or power that you or I can draw upon at will to do, be, or have anything we want isn't the Sovereign, unless we were to argue that the Sovereign permits us to be sovereign, in which case there could be no sole Sovereign.  But if such were possible, each of us, if we were adept enough at manipulating the Mind-Substance, would be able to fulfill all our desires.  Obviously, however, such creative autonomy is impossible because my desires must at times conflict with yours.  If two sovereign beings want the same job, only one can obtain it.  Who, then, knows what is best for the two people--or sovereign wills--that are involved?  Only a sovereign God, who knows what each of us deserves and needs.  Therefore, although God may possess power, he cannot be employed according to our wills.  otherwise, he wouldn't be God, the Sovereign."

"In a mechanistic, man-centered universe, the only God would be the Self.  And no matter how richly this idea is adorned and ornamented, the result is narcissism.  God, the very reality that many New-Agers had set out to verify, is denied altogether.  If all of nature, including matter and thought, is maya, then so is the concept of a sovereign God who controls and orders his creation.  As long as the New Ager is ignorant of his "True Self", he of course conditionally accepts the existence of "prakriti", the primal substance of the universe; but he also believes that, according to the law of karma, he has an absolute right to control and direct--to do, be, and have whatever he wants.  Because he believes that his True Self is the Self of the universe, he concludes that he has the right to rule over his own creation.  And he has no doubt that all of nature must yield to him.  In this way, from beginning to the end of his search, all that matters to him is his own Self."


Anonymous said...

If I didn't know about your walk I would easily dismiss you as one of those christians who hasn't fully grasped how deep eastern religions are...ok so what's the title of the book?
Anyways yes eastern ideas fall short and add the new age perverting it and becomes downright muddied bootleg. At the same time don't you think you are throwing the baby out with the bath water? There are some gems(many actually) that either don't contradict scripture and in some cases line up with it. Aren't these to be embraced seeing as how who ever came up with them was in tune with GOd( even if they thought they realized the concept purely through meditation)? I think the key here lies in separating ideas that don't line up with scripture with ideas that do.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add I like the idea of being godlike. I admit a part of me cringes when I read what I just wrote and maybe to some people reading this I come across as selfcentered or even having hidden motives but unless I'm shown otherwise I can't believe GOd would want us to be spiritually inept and unfortunately this is what I see with the christian interpretation of scripture and what they think a christian ought to be. They don't say inept but instead use words like meek,gentle,humble or will rail against the evils of meditation or yoga and somehow that translates into not exploring spiritual concepts because its all just dangerous.Again I know meekness,humility and being gentle are virtues but for one reason or another in mainstream christianity it becomes an excuse to not grow in spiritual power.
On the other hand the new agers overestimate their sense of importance and this comes across in their writings and interpretations of eastern/gnostic texts etc...
Obviously there are ppl who are exceptions in christianity and I'm sure even in the new age so please no offense to anyone out there that is new age or christian. And obviously I'm not referring to you bro T otherwise I wouldn't be searching this blog for answers. Maybe my train of thought isn't very clear but I think it's clear enough.

Mark said...

Yep most are parishioners of the 1st church of "me".

Anonymous said...

Yes the two comments were mine. By the way I wasn't surprised you were Hindu back in the day(i already knew that about your walk). I feel there are probably some teachings in Hinduism that do line up with the truth and of course some that don't e.g. atman equals Brahman.
GOd bless

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